As a reminder to watch what we say, I thought I’d put up a collection of Islamic quotes and more with regard to backbiting. It has been covered before, but we can never get too many reminders when it comes to matters of such importance.
I hope these serve as reminders to us all about how careful we need to be with our tongues.
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O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed, some suspicions are sins. And spy not on each other nor backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.
(Quran 49: 12 – Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 12)
Various ahadeeth and sayings:
- “…Backbiting is to say something about your brother that he would dislike…If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him.” [Muslim]
- “When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear God as regards us, for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’” [Tirmidhi]
- It was narrated in the Hadith relating the story of Mi’raj (Ascent): “The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by people with copper fingernails – with which they scratch their own faces and chests. He asked: “Who are those, Gabriel?” It was answered: “Those are the people who eat the flesh of other people and vilify their honor.”
- It was narrated that a man brought two fasting women to the Prophet (pbuh) – for they were dying of thirst. The Prophet (pbuh) turned away, silently refusing to give permission for them to break their fast. So, the man begged him again, mentioning that the women were on the verge of death. The Prophet then said, “Bring them to me and bring along a bowl.” When they turned to him, he turned to one and told her to vomit in the bowl. She complied, spitting up a mixture of vomit, blood, pus and pieces of flesh which half filled the bowl. He then turned to the other and had her do the same. After the bowl was filled, the Prophet (pbuh) reportedly said, “Verily these two have fasted from what Allah has made halaal for them; and broken their fast from what Allah has made haraam. They spent their fast eating the flesh of others.” [Ahmad]
- “… Do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults – for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault; and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in the open for everyone to see – even if he hid it in the innermost part of his house.” [Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi, others]
- “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbour…” [Bukhari]
- “Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i.e. his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e., his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.” [Bukhari]
Scholar Hasan al-Basri reportedly said:
“I swear by Allah: backbiting is swifter in consuming the religion of a Muslim than a gangrenous infection is in consuming the human body.”
Two particular audio lectures come to mind, when I think of this topic:
- Guarding the tongue (30 minutes) [Stream | Download]
- Truthful and Straightforward Speech (18 minutes) [Stream | Download]
And, for a lighter look at the issue, watch Baba Ali’s video: “Little backbiter”.
If you’d like a printable version of the quotes, you can download the Word document below: